In 2020, for the first time ever, the majority of Americans said “yes” when asked in surveys if controversial monuments should be removed. The years since have seen mass protests about monuments in the United States, and over 200 of them left their pedestals. Yet, most of these monuments were simply moved elsewhere or are awaiting reinstallation. So, what’s really going on with U.S. monuments? Join Erin L. Thompson, in discussion with Mary Rogero, as she outlines surprising facts about what really changed since 2020, explaining the factors keeping even the most controversial American monuments on view.
Erin L. Thompson is America’s only professor of art crime. She teaches at John Jay College at the City University of New York and holds a PhD in Art History and a law degree. She studies the deliberate destruction of art, analyzing the ways in which this destruction has sometimes harmed and sometimes benefited communities. She has spoken about monuments controversies with outlets including The New Yorker, New York Times, “The Today Show,” and both Stephen Colbert and John Oliver have referenced her work. Her book Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of American Public Monuments, was published by Norton in 2022.
Reception to follow.
SPONSORED BY THE HUMANITIES CENTER, COLLEGE OF CREATIVE ARTS, DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY & THE MIRIAM W. HOWARD FUND.